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’90s Kids, Defined

by Sheridan Cyr

For my 21st birthday that took place over break, I took the train to spend the day in New York City. Though effortless, traveling the route there was tedious. I turned to my phone for some relief, maintaining this feeling hanging over me that I was officially an adult and that in a way I was traveling away from my youth.

I saw a post on Facebook that has resonated with me and picked at my brain each day since. It was a screenshot of a Tumblr post with numerous responses. It began with, “A ’90s kid? You mean a sad adult?” followed by, “70,000 people have reblogged this but no one is trying to defend themselves,” and “There is nothing to defend.”

Someone responded with an exact explanation as to why a whole generation of people feel this inevitable pain lingering in just about everything that they do. They said that our generation is one of nostalgia. Because so many technological advancements occurred in such a short period of time, we still can remember what life was like before this craze and craving of technology.

The rapid development we have had to endure is an experience so unique, and because so much has happened since our childhood, it makes our youth seem extremely far away and out of reach. Things like phone cords, Gameboys, dial-up internet and much more are just about obsolete, and with it, our childhood.

Without all of the technology, more of our youth was spent actively in comparison to children in the present day. A direct quote from the post itself: “We grew up knowing of skateboards, jump rope, street hockey, playgrounds, butterfly collecting, etc. Slowly technology took over our lives and now there are hardly kids playing outside in the summer.”

Another user added a heartbreaking thought to the post: we were the last generation to grow up with “those bright promises” of “work hard, go to college, and you’ll have a successful life.” Those hopes were slashed during the recession a few years ago when we watched our families struggle to put food on the table and dress their children. We saw our parents who, in our youthful eyes, worked hard but did not reap the benefits.

The post finished off, hitting home hard, saying, “So 90s kids aren’t just nostalgic… we’re bitter. And we ache for those days when we could still think that the world was boundless and full of the opportunities we were promised since the first day of kindergarten.”